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UW removes dean of Health Sciences College amid controversy

A sandstone building rises four stories above.
Bob Beck
/
Wyoming Public Media
Old Main, the University of Wyoming's oldest building and the seat of its administration.

The University of Wyoming (UW) has removed the College of Health Sciences dean following several months of sustained public scrutiny. Jacob Warren served as dean of Health Sciences for less than two years.

During his tenure, Warren sought to reorganize the college. He wanted to move some community outreach programs, like the Wyoming Telehealth Network, from WIND to a new division. WIND is the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities and serves a statewide community.

Faculty and community stakeholders were concerned that Warren's plans for reorganization would threaten WIND’s federal funding. Shortly after raising her voice against the dean's plans, the longtime director of WIND was forced out.

State lawmakers took notice. During a budget hearing earlier this month, they took the opportunity to question Warren, who briefly defended his actions.

"There were some changes that were made in leadership and there are always opinions when those items happen, but we're continuing to make good progress, we're working with WIND very closely to make sure nothing that we're doing is jeopardizing any type of programmatic support," Warren said.

UW faculty also alleged that Warren was using his position to benefit his spouse, who also works at UW. The UW Board of Trustees heard consistently from outraged students, faculty and community advisors during its public comment periods.

The university announced Warren's removal Friday, but UW officials aren't saying how much of the dean's reorganization will remain in place.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.

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